Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Health today encouraged all Pennsylvania men to take the proper steps to stay healthy and stressed the importance of knowing the risk factors of certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, that can have life-threatening impacts.
“Men often only visit the doctor when they need acute care for an illness,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Visiting the doctor for routine check-ups will help prevent more serious illnesses or catch them early. Knowing the risk factors and catching the signs and symptoms of certain conditions early can help prevent serious side effects or even death.”
One of the largest health issues affecting men in the United States is some form of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States and also in Pennsylvania. From 2012-2016, more than 290,000 men died in Pennsylvania from some form of cardiovascular disease, and forms of cardiovascular disease were four of the top five causes of death in Pennsylvania. According to the CDC, half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Risk factors for heart disease include: high blood pressure; high cholesterol; smoking; being overweight; diabetes; poor diet; physical inactivity; and excessive alcohol use.
Another major health concern for men, and the second leading cause of death in Pennsylvania over the last five years, is cancer. The most common kinds of cancer among men are skin cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Staying up-to-date on cancer screening tests can help reduce the risk of cancer. Other tips for lowering a man’s chance of getting cancer include:
- Staying away from tobacco. If you smoke, try to quit, and stay away from other people’s smoke;
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink;
- Protecting your skin from the sun; and
- Getting to and keeping a healthy weight and staying physically active.
Another health concern for men is preventable deaths, such as those that are caused by accidents, poisoning, drug use and firearm-related deaths. It is important that men are attentive to their surroundings and work to make healthy decisions and lifestyle choices, which can impact themselves and their loved ones.